The long ball hurt the Missouri Western baseball team in the opening round of the NCAA Central Regional falling 6-1 against the Southern Arkansas Muleriders. The Griffons gave up three home runs and stranded eight runners in the loss. The Griffons are 40-11 on the season and will play the winner of the Minnesota State and Missouri Southern contest on Friday, May 17 at 3:30 pm from The Frank in Mankato, Minn.
The Mulerider jumped on the Griffons in the very first inning when Great American Conference Player of the Year David Harris blasted a two run homer giving Southern Arkansas the 2-0 lead.
Brandon Simmons shut down the Mule Riders for the next three innings but did not get any run support from his offense as they stranded the bases loaded in the fourth and left two runners on in the fifth.
SAU got another run in the fifth off another homer from Jackson McCurdy making the score 3-0 after five.
The Griffons got another threat going in the top of the eighth. Three straight one out hits by Bubba Dotson, Kyle Simpson and Nate Ramler cut the lead to 3-1 with one out in the eighth.
Southern Arkansas brought in Justin Thomas who struck out Grant Fink and Spencer Shockley ending the threat of any comeback.
In the bottom of the eighth a bunt hit and an error set the table for Harris’s second homer of the game giving SAU the 6-1 victory.
James Baune improved to 13-1 going 7.1 innings giving up eight hits while striking out seven. Thomas went 1.2 innings striking out three. The Muleriders improve to 41-15. Harris led the way with five RBI and two runs scored.
Simmons suffered his first loss of the season going all eight innings. He falls to 11-1 giving up eight his and five earned runs. The Griffons had eight hits with Dotson, Simpson and Ramler all going 2-for-4.
— MWSU Sports Information —